ZF Takes Stake in Autonomous Tech Firm

ZF has announced it has acquired a 40% minority stake in Ibeo Automotive Systems GmbH. The Hamburg-based company is a market leader in lidar (light detection and ranging) technology.

ZF pointed out that lidar is a key technology for autonomous driving, object recognition and accident prevention systems. Ibeo develops 3-D “environmental recognition” software with a particular focus on applications for autonomous driving. Its customers include several major global vehicle manufacturers.

ZF said the lidar generation developed by Ibeo in cooperation with ZF will reproduce a 3-D image of  a vehicle’s surroundings without the rotating mirrors used in current lidar systems. And by using solid state technology, lidar will become more compact and easier to integrate into the vehicle.

Founded in 2009, Ibeo dates back to 1998. Given the fast-growing market for sensor systems and environmental recognition, the company said it expects to increase its workforce from around 50 to 250 employees in the medium term and it will establish an Autonomous Driving Competence Center. The center will focus on volume production and marketing of solutions for highly automated and autonomous driving.

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